Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why George Mitchell Failed to Negotiate Middle East Peace--and What will Happen Next

George Mitchell, appointed by President Obama as the United States Special Envoy to the Middle East, has resigned his post. The man who successfully brokered peace in Northern Ireland was unable to even bring the two sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the table. One may safely predict that in the coming weeks many pundits will attribute Mitchell's failure to insufficient American diplomatic pressure on Israel to suspend settlement activity.

Tawfik Hamid, a senior fellow and chairman of the study of Islamic radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, writes in the Jerusalem Post that those pundits would be mistaken. Pressuring Israel to give up more land will not peacefully end the Arab-Israeli conflict because the conflict is not about land. He notes that throughout the Muslim world, including this week in Cairo's Tahrir Square, pro-Palestian demonstrators chant, "Khyber Khyber Ya Yahood... Gaish Muhammad Sawfa Yaood." This chant warns the Jews that that the army of Muhammad is coming back for a repeat of what was done to the Jewish Khyber tribe. Hamid explains in his column that according to authentic Islamic history books, the Islamic army, led by Muhammad, annihilated the Jewish tribe of Khyber, raping its women and killing all its men.

Hamid continues, "Until US envoys to the Middle East realize that the problem in the eyes of the Palestinians and their supporters is not the borders of Israel but the very existence of the country, all future missions will similarly fail." The problem, he explains, is not political but rather theological: Islamists, including Hamas, which now shares governing power over the Palestinian Authority with Fatah, is committed to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.

Indeed, many in the "moderate" Fatah faction and elsewhere in the Arab world share Hamas' objectives and murderous anti-Semitic philosophy, as shown by the vicious, Nazi-style propaganda that appears throughout Islamic media. Hamid writes, "Publishing dehumanizing cartoons in the mainstream media, and blaming Jews for nearly every problem in the world has become much too common in the leading Arab media over the past few decades. ... It is virtually impossible to promote any form of peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict without reducing such levels of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world."

Hamid knows of what he writes. Himself a one-time Islamic extremist from Egypt, he was a member of a terrorist Islamic organization JI with Dr. Ayman Al-Zawaherri, who became later on the second in command of Al-Qaeda. Some twenty-five years ago, he recognized the threat of Radical Islam and the need for a reformation based upon modern peaceful interpretations of classical Islamic core texts. His website is

I am extremely pessimistic regarding the near-time prospects for a peaceful end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It should not be so--the so-called Arab spring has exposed Israel's enemies for what they are and always have been--murderous dictatorial regimes. The economic misery of the masses in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Syria and, yes, Gaza and the West Bank, is not the product of some Zionist plot, but rather of the backward tyrants that governed the now-revolting masses.

Yet, the Arab popular movements that have challenged those deposts seem to view Israel as a greater enemy than their own authoritarian rulers. Islamist demonstrators in Cairo, when they are not murdering Copts and burning their churches, have quickly reverted to vicious anti-Israel propaganda. The military government that currently rules Egypt has announced plans to improve relations with the Nazi-like government of Iran and to reopen the Gaza border, allowing Hamas, the Iran's puppet in Gaza, to openly import advanced Iranian missiles and other weapons. Iran is of course up to the same act on Israel's northern border with Lebanon and Syria, where the mullahs act through Hezbollah and the Assad regime.

In September, the Palestinian Authority has said it will make a unilateral declaration of statehood before the United Nations, and over 60 countries already have declared their intention to recognize the Palestinian state. It is predictable that the new nation of Palestine will immediately be admitted to the United Nations, and that Israel will be declared by the UN to be unlawfully occupying the lands of a member state. That will set the stage for UN sanctions and international armed intervention to "liberate" the occupied Palestinian lands.

What the U.S. stance will be if all this transpires is unknown. What is clear is that the United States has not taken vigorous steps to publicly oppose the Palestinian move toward a unilateral declaration of independence. The sad truth is that the Obama Administration can seriously undermine Israel without ever publicly taking a stand against the Jewish state; the U.S. need merely stand by and do nothing or lodge only mild disapproval.

What will follow for some time, sadly, will be the most difficult period for world Jewry since the Shoah. The Jewish state will be under siege and abandoned by her former allies. And as international opposition to Israel grows, and Israel is increasingly declared to be the cause of all problems and discord in the world, Jews in the Diaspora should not expect to escape persecution in their own countries.

Having said all that, I am not at all pessimistic about the eventual outcome. This has all been foreseen and predicted.

"Behold, they shall be ashamed and confounded, all who were incensed with you. They shall be as nothing and shall perish, those who strove against you. You will seek them and you will not find them, the people who contended with you. They will be like nothing and like zero, the people who made war on you. Because I the Lord your God, who strenghtens your right hand, who says to you, 'Fear not, I will help you. Fear not, worm Yaakov [Jacob],people of Israel, I will help you, says the Lord, your Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel." [Isaiah 41:11-14]


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